Sometimes all you need is simple ingredients and a zest to cook (and clean up your fridge) to make a fantastic dish. A few days back while shopping in a super market I happen to come across fresh arugula leaves and without thinking twice I put them in the basket. Didn’t have any recipe running through my head. Back home, I kept looking at the fridge, trying to figure out what to make with these beautiful greens. My fridge was full of beets, since my 10 month old loves them and suddenly the thought of beetroot, arugula and feta salad. The thought of it made me salivate.
This salad with its deep flavors and wide array of textures is definitely a delicious offering. The beautiful color of the beets and the freshness from the leaves and herbs cools you down during hot days. The earthy sweetness from the tender beets, the salty chunks of the feta, the bitterness from the arugula all comes together to form a healthy and yummy salad. The bitter and sweet contrast in the salad is quite inviting to my palate. And then comes the toasted pine nuts which adds a nice fragrance to the salad. All this is combined together with a balsamic vinaigrette which is a merriment to my taste buds. Balsamic vinegar is a must must ingredient in my salad. It just makes the whole experience of eating greens quite pleasurable.
So now that the weekend is here and some nice indulgence is needed to kick start a fresh week, toss this salad up and enjoy to hearts content.
INGREDIENTS: (for 2 – 3 people)
For the salad:
- 2 medium sized boiled beet, julienned
- 1 carrot, peeled and cut into slices diagonally
- 1/2 medium sized onion, cut into thin slices (optional)
- 1 1/2 cup of fresh arugula leaves
- 1/2 cup baby spinach (optional)
- 1/4 cup feta cheese cubes
- 2 tbsp toasted pine nuts
- 2 tbsp chopped fresh basil
For the dressing:
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- 4 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
- 1/2 tbsp chili flakes
- 3 tbsp fresh basil leaves, chopped finely
- salt, to taste
- freshly grounded black pepper, to taste
- Add olive oil and balsamic vinegar in a bowl and whisk it for a couple of minutes.
- Now add the chopped basil leaves, chili flakes, garlic , salt and pepper into the above mixture and mix it well.
- In a jar or container, transfer the entire mixture, cover the lid and shake it well for a minute. Store it at room temperature or in the fridge until you will serve the salad.
- In another bowl, take carrots, beetroot, arugula, onion , baby spinach and fresh basil and mix it well. (The best way to mix it nicely is to use your hands.)
- Right before serving, transfer the veggies to your salad bowl, put in half of your pine nuts and feta cheese and give it a quick mix.
- Now add the salad dressing and toss it well.
- Finish it off by garnishing it with the remaining pine nuts and feta cheese and serve immediately.
- You can use toasted walnuts, pistachios or pecans instead of pine nuts.
- Feel free to cut the beetroot in small chunks. They look beautiful too.
- You can use goat cheese instead of feta. Though beet and feta have an unwavering relationship.
- You can omit carrots too. But I like carrots and beets together.